When Columbia announced their upcoming project with the director, they tried to keep the plot secret. Why bother? The treatment leaked and the movie is full of emo teens, just like everything else he's done (except Milk).
Will someone please tell Gus Van Sant that he is not an angsty gay teen anymore? While we're not asking him to make G.I. Joe 2, he couldn't do something a little bit more than Restless, the story of a young, moody boy who goes to strangers' funerals to cope with his parents' deaths. He meets a young girl in a graveyard who only has six months to live. The film's budget is set at $15 million, $2.5 million of which is reserved for the eyeliner and Manic Panic.
Don't get us wrong, we loved Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, and Good Will Hunting. He even managed to change his formula up by introducing an sad teen (Joaquin Phoenix, before the beard) to an a deluded, ambitious older lady (Nicole Kidman, before the Botox) in To Die For.
But who out there suffered through Elephant, Paranoid Park, Gerry and Last Days? Yeah, we didn't think so. Probably because his experiments on getting depressed teens to improvise for the camera became staid and tedious. We were hoping that Milk, with its message of political empowerment and a movement coming into its own, would be the start of the dear director's second act. Guess we were wrong.
Isn't it time to make some more movies about grown ups? Even Woody Allen went from making movies about young neurotic New Yorkers sleeping with girls way out of their league to making movies about old neurotic New Yorkers sleeping with girls way out of their league. The rest of us are miserable too, Gus. Where's our movie?